In the last several years I have explored the origin of these standards in therapy, and I now understand where they came from and how they came to dominate my life. That doesn't mean I've changed them yet; it just means I have more insight into the problem they present.
Amazingly enough, I don't expect most people to live up to such standards. On some level I have always known they are impossible. But the closer I am to a person, the more I want to see high standards at work in them. I think this has cost my loved ones some anguish over the years, though, because apparently I am pretty good at living up to those standards.
That might explain why I am so tired.
I do not accept affection or approval very well. I do not take compliments well, or take much credit for any achievements.
I discount them, dispose of them, deny them...
I'm running on empty.
I've got a good therapist. We're working on it. And, of course, I'll work very hard.
I always do.